Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Interpersonal synchrony feels good but impedes self-regulation of affect

The abstract of the above article:

"The social benefits of interpersonal synchrony are widely recognized. Yet, little is known about its impact on the self. According to enactive cognitive science, the human self for its stability and regulation needs to balance social attunement with disengagement from others. Too much interpersonal synchrony is considered detrimental for a person’s ability to self-regulate. In this study, 66 adults took part in the Body-Conversation Task (BCT), a dyadic movement task promoting spontaneous social interaction. Using whole-body behavioural imaging, we investigated the simultaneous impact of interpersonal synchrony (between persons) and intrapersonal synchrony (within a person) on positive affect and self-regulation of affect. We hypothesized that interpersonal synchrony’s known tendency to increase positive affect would have a trade-off, decreasing a person’s ability to self-regulate affect. Interpersonal synchrony predicted an increase in positive affect. Consistent with our hypothesis, it simultaneously predicted a weakening in self-regulation of affect. Intrapersonal synchrony, however, tended to oppose these effects. Our findings challenge the widespread belief that harmony with others has only beneficial effects, pointing to the need to better understand the impact of interaction dynamics on the stability and regulation of the human self."

The conclusion:

"There is much evidence supporting the claim that a lack of social engagement has a negative impact on our well-being. The novelty of our outcomes consists in showing that too much social attunement, however, may also become a risk for the self. Openness to and harmony with others is not all we need for stability. We need to balance our reliance on others with separation and independence from them. [...]  Our findings have crucial implications for the way we conceive of the human self and its relation to the social world. Humans are indeed no islands: the self is a thoroughly social entity. Yet, it is not as simple as that. In this study we have provided evidence that even at the basic level of spontaneous movement interactions, we also need disengagement and separation from others in order to self-regulate and maintain our stability."

So it seems we need to differentiate from our crowd via self-regulation of affect to develop our individuality. But we can also get stuck in that self(ish) and become isolated and inflated. It seems the next stage is for semi-autonomous individuals to re-socialize with others through interdependence. Once again it seems about boundaries, how they both separate and connect, singular/plurality.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.